A Life of Discipleship
|A couple of Christ-followers. Grateful for their lives of discipleship.|
- Intentional instruction is necessary for on-going spiritual growth and development in the life of a believer. Jesus continued teaching the disciples until the moment he went up in to heaven, and then he left them the Holy Spirit to continue the communication and discipleship training. Anyone who thinks that they have arrived has the wrong impression of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
- There is an expectation that mature disciples are to live their lives in such a way that they are not a stumbling block to others. In other words, a life of discipleship will lead to making disciples. The life of a disciple is to be a reflection of Christ in this world. Paul spoke of refraining from the eating of meat offered to idols because he didn’t want to make others stumble. What “rights” or liberties might we claim that may infringe upon the weaknesses of others, causing them to stumble? Am I willing to refrain from certain activities so that I will not be a stumbling block to others? A disciple puts the needs of the younger disciple above their own personal wants, “rights” and/or desires.
- A system of accountability should be established in which we are able to correct one another. This is a tricky thing for there are always those who are ready to point out our faults. It does mean, however, that we may need to find those whose voices we trust and make ourselves vulnerable before them, allowing them to speak into the areas of our lives which may need some correction. We must also be careful not to be the one who is constantly pointing out other peoples’ short-comings, becoming the pied piper of legalism. Discipleship is about a relationship, one that is built on trust, and only from this place can correction occur.
- We should all have a burden for others to come to Christ and to grow in his grace. Working with people who are in the mess of this world can be a real challenge. Inevitably there will be disappointments but we are called to be realistic. Forgiving someone over and over again can be an exhausting experience, but we are certainly grateful that our Lord has been willing to extend grace to us over and over again. We are asked to extend that same grace to those who may wrong us, and to show forgiveness. It is in forgiveness that healing can come, both to the one who wronged, and the one who was wronged. Holding onto our own pain because of an unwillingness to forgive will only create more harm to our own lives.